Orange County Hampi, A Mystical Walk through its Hallways
Orange County Resorts have been a pioneer in ultra-luxurious hospitality partners for decades. Their latest addition is Hampi, located at a distance of about 4 Km from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This modern marvel of architecture is built in accordance with the Vijayanagara palace of the 14th Century when Hampi used to be the world’s most provided city. The sale of precious stones and metals including Gold and Diamonds was abundant in its market places, the ruins of which still stand tall outside its major sites like the Vijay Vitthala and the Virupaksha temple.
As you enter through the gates of Orange County built in the form of a fort entrance of the late middle ages, you get mesmerized by its sheer beauty and surreal appeal. The Main Building where the Suites are located welcome you with open arms. As you walk into the spacious lobby, a replica of the Mother-Daughter stone welcomes you along with a traditional teeka from their friendly and hospitable staff.
Behind the Main Lobby lies the recreational room and the back office, more of which will be covered in the After Dark section later. As you turn right and walk over to the plush halls overlooking the water body at the centre, the In-house Restaurant Tuluva catches your attention. The Main Bar overlooks the Dining Area with floors interspersed with water bodies to create an illusion of a floating diner. The furniture and décor is chosen aesthetically to match the reminiscence of the bygone era of the royals. I will talk about the F&B details in my Service Review at a later point in time.
As you proceed to the upper level of the property, there are 3 varieties of Suites available befitting your requirement:
The Zenana or the Palace Suite: This is the highest category of suites available in the building with separate living, dining and sleeping areas. They are equipped with their own private balconies, an en-suite bathroom and a private Jacuzzi. It is built in accordance to the Queen’s quarters and hence the name.
The Nilaya or the Terrace Suite: This is the second most luxurious suite of the property with a well-equipped ensuite bathroom and a large private Jacuzzi overlooking a private terrace. This is built keeping in mind the privacy for couples and their decadence.
The Nivasa or the Deluxe Suite: This is the basic category of room with spacious interiors and a private Jacuzzi located in its sit-out accessible from inside as well as its large en-suite bathroom.
The fourth and the most luxurious category are the Pool Villas or the Jal Mahal. Equipped with an outdoor infinity pool, these spacious residences are divided into a living room, bedroom and the bathroom sections accessible with doors. They also have a couple’s shower and an outdoor shower from where the pool can be accessed as well. The pool is built around the main water body surrounding the entire property and consists of a private cabana for capturing special moments. Spanning over 2500 square feet, these villas are by far the most luxurious I have ever experienced.
This section will not be complete without a special mention of the amazing and mystical hallways of the Orange County which takes you down memory lane of a bygone era. These hallways capture the ethereal spirit of the land which is the punchline for Orange County Resorts and appeals to the romantic inside every one of us. You can almost hear the voices of the attendants busily rushing to the inner chambers of the royalty or the banter of his many courtesans behind these walls. After dark, their appeal is mysterious and the ambient LED lights hanging from the beautiful lamp shades echo many a voice and dimension hitherto unknown in the light of the day. More about that in my After Dark section.
As I proceeded to our Jal Mahal after a tour of this lavish property, I was filled with an immense sense of gratitude and accomplishment for being able to experience this one of a kind venue first hand. My heartfelt thanks to the friendly and hospitable staff who always greeted me with a traditional “Namaskara”, the dynamic and friendly General Manager-Joydeep Banerjee and Vikram Nanjappa-Public Relations, Orange County Resorts. I was overwhelmed to find a handwritten note from Joydeep himself waiting for me upon my arrival. He later joined us for an extended conversation over a very late lunch as we had arrived late. My next section will emphasize more on the team and their unmatched service provided over my stay.